Noni JuiceCaution: Some complementary agents or therapies may be useful for cancer patients; however, some may be harmful in certain situations. MD Anderson Cancer Center cautions patients to consult with their oncologist before attempting to use any agents or therapies referenced on these pages. Inclusion of an agent, therapy or resource on this CIMER Web site does not imply endorsement by MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Noni is the common name for Morinda citrifolia, a small evergreen tree found in Polynesia. The roots, stems, bark, leaves, flowers and fruit of the Noni plant have all been used in Polynesian herbal remedies to treat various common diseases and to maintain overall good health. A review by the University of Illinois describes in vitro and animal studies showing antibacterial, antiviral, analgesic, hypotensive, immunological and anticancer activity. There have been no results from human trials found in the literature.
A number of major components have been identified in the noni plant such as potassium, vitamin C, anthraquinones, beta-sitosterol, carotene, vitamin A, flavone glycosides, linoleic acid, caproic acid, ursolic acid, rutin and others.
Appropriate doses have not been determined in peer reviewed, published journals. The University of Hawaii Cancer Research Center is currently conducting a Phase 1 study sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health to determine the maximum tolerated dose of noni fruit extract.*
How it is taken
Noni has been administered both orally and topically. Typically, the fruit and fruit juices are eaten to alleviate a variety of ailments. Mixtures of the fruit and leaves are also applied topically for conditions such as arthritis, headaches, burns, sores and wounds.
Noni juice may contain anthraquinone constituents, which can interfere with diagnostic tests by discoloring the urine pink to rust.
Possible risks or interactions
Noni, taken orally, is not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding, as it has historically been used to induce abortion.
The fruit juice of the noni plant contains high amounts of potassium. Use of the fruit juice by those with chronic renal insufficiency or using potassium sparing diuretics may lead to increased risk of hyperkalemia.
In a case study reported in the literature, a man who had been drinking a glass of noni juice everyday for several weeks developed acute herbal liver toxicity. After the patient was advised to discontinue the noni juice, enzyme levels returned to normal. Another case study found that a patient taking noni juice developed resistence to coumadin (a blood thinning drug), due to the amount of vitamin K found in the particular commercial product she was using.
Morinda officinalis is sometimes combined with Morinda citrifolia in commercial preparations of noni. Morinda officianalis has been reported to stimulate the kidneys and can exacerbate urinary difficulties.
Quality control is important during harvesting and manufacturing of noni fruit juice to avoid contamination with potentially toxic anthraquinones from the root and bark.
*For more information about the Noni clinical trial, visit NIH Clinical Trials Study of Noni in Cancer Patients.
To avoid potential interactions, be sure to let your health care provider know if you use this or any other type of complementary therapy.
MD Anderson Cancer Center has not done a comprehensive review of noni juice.The information provided in this summary is based upon a review by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, a news article by Natural Standard, an article featured by the American Botanical Council and other published reports.
Noni Juice Reference List
- Basch E, Ulbricht C. Natural Standard [Web Page]. (Accessed 2005 Jun 21).
- Carr M, Klotz J, Bergeron M. Coumadin resistance and the vitamin supplement "Noni". American Journal of Hematology 2004;77:103-4.
- Jellin J, Editor in Chief. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database [Web Page]. (Accessed 2005 Jun 21).
- McClatchey W. From Polynesian healers to health food stores: changing perspectives of Morinda citrifolia (Rubiaceae). Integrative Cancer Therapies 2002;1(2):110-20.
- Millonig G, Stadlmann S, Vogel W. Herbal hepatotoxicity: acute hepatitis caused by Noni preparation (Morinda citrifolia). European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology 2005;17:445-7.
- National Cancer Institute. Search for Clinical Trials (Advanced Search Form) [Web Page].(Accessed May 3).
- Reif K, Sievers H, Steffen J. The role of chemical reference standards as analytical tools in the quality assessment of botanical materials - a European perspective. Herbal Gram 2004;63:38-43.
- Wang M, West B, Jensen C, Nowicki D, Su C, Palu A, et al. Morinda citrifolia (Noni): A literature review and recent advances in Noni research. Acta Pharmacol Sin 2002;23(12):1127-41.